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 Light Music CDs. Some highly recommended releases.

Light Music is ignored by most Record Stores and Radio Stations, yet it is enjoyed by millions of people around the world.

You may know it as Easy Listening or Concert Music ... or maybe Middle-of-the Road. Whatever you happen to call it, Light Music offers relaxing enjoyment at any time of the day or night, and we hope that you will return regularly to this page in the Robert Farnon Society website to keep fully informed on the latest releases.

Releases up to December 2007

For 2007:

LIGHT MUSIC CDs – DECEMBER

Light Music For All Seasons

1 April In Paris (Vernon Duke, arr. Michel Legrand)
MICHEL LEGRAND AND HIS ORCHESTRA
2 I’ll Remember April (Don Raye, Gene de Paul, Pat Johnston)
GORDON JENKINS AND HIS ORCHESTRA
3 Tulips In Springtime (Rebekah Harkness, Tom Glazer)
ALFONSO D’ARTEGA AND HIS ORCHESTRA
4 Springtime (Walter Collins)
LONDON PROMENADE ORCHESTRA Conducted by WALTER COLLINS
5 Spring It Was (John Bradford, Tony Romano)
SIDNEY TORCH AND HIS ORCHESTRA
6 Spring Flowers (Charles Williams)
QUEEN’S HALL LIGHT ORCHESTRA Conducted by CHARLES WILLIAMS
7 One Morning In May (Victor Schertzinger, arr. Robert Farnon)
ROBERT FARNON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
8 June Bride (Charles Kenbury, real name Dennis Berry)
DOLF VAN DER LINDEN AND HIS METROPOLE ORCHESTRA
9 Heat Wave (Irving Berlin)
KINGSWAY PROMENADE ORCHESTRA Conducted by STANLEY BLACK
10 Summer Afternoon – Idyll (Eric Coates)
ERIC COATES and SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
11 Midsummer Gladness (Cecil Milner)
SYMPHONIA ORCHESTRA Conducted by LUDO PHILIPP
12 Summertime In Venice (from the film "Summer Madness") (Icini)
RON GOODWIN AND HIS CONCERT ORCHESTRA
13 Indian Summer (Victor Herbert, arr. George Melachrino)
THE MELACHRINO STRINGS Conducted by GEORGE MELACHRINO
14 Blue September (Peter de Rose, arr. Laurie Johnson)
THE AMBROSE ORCHESTRA Conducted by LAURIE JOHNSON
15 Autumn Leaves (Joseph Kosma)
RICHARD HAYMAN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
16 Autumn Serenade (Peter de Rose)
ROBERTO INGLEZ AND HIS ORCHESTRA
17 Lonely September (Charles Hathaway)
DAVID CARROLL AND HIS ORCHESTRA
18 September Song (Kurt Weill, arr. Richard Jones)
THE PITTSBURGH STRINGS Conducted by RICHARD JONES
19 In A November Garden (Victor Young)
VICTOR YOUNG AND HIS ORCHESTRA
20 Snow Shadow (Len Stevens)
DANISH STATE RADIO ORCHESTRA Conducted by ROBERT FARNON
21 Snowfall (Claude Thornhill)
LEROY HOLMES AND HIS ORCHESTRA
22 Sleigh Ride (Leroy Anderson)
ETHEL SMITH – Organ with orchestral accompaniment
23 Winter (Horace Shepherd)
NEW CONCERT ORCHESTRA Conducted by R. de PORTEN
24 A Christmas Fantasy
THE MELACHRINO ORCHESTRA Conducted by GEORGE MELACHRINO

GLCD 5138   LIGHT MUSIC FOR ALL SEASONSGuild GLCD 5138

The four seasons provide the inspiration for the talented composers whose works are featured in this collection. We open our selection with a sparkling arrangement of April In Paris conducted by the French musician Michel Jean Legrand (b. 1932 in Paris) taken from his album "I Love Paris" which effectively launched his international career. An accomplished pianist, Michel has scored over 200 films and television shows and recorded over 100 albums ranging from jazz, popular and classical music. He has won numerous awards, and is probably the best-known French musician in the USA, having worked with most of the top singers from Frank Sinatra and Sarah Vaughan to Barbra Streisand and Dame Kiri te Kanawa.

Gordon Jenkins (1910-1984) arranged for many of the top bands in America during the two World Wars, and he soon carved out an impressive career in radio and films. He signed with US Decca in 1945, and eventually became their managing director. Under his guidance the label had several big hits, and his major work Manhattan Tower (first recorded at the end of 1945) brought him considerable critical acclaim – to be followed by similar musical narratives California (1949) and Seven Dreams (1953).

Alfonso D’Artega (b. 1907) arrived in the USA from his native Mexico in 1918. Often merely known by his surname (spellings of his first name vary), he was a conductor, arranger and composer of wide and varied musical experience, and conducted orchestras for radio, television, transcriptions, recordings, concert stage and motion pictures. In 1946 he originated and conducted in Carnegie Hall the Pop Concerts, with the members of the New York Philharmonic. He portrayed the role of Tchaikovsky in the 1947 United Artists production Carnegie Hall, and also conducted the sound track for the film. He has appeared as guest conductor with the Buffalo Symphony, Miami Symphony, Lewisohn Stadium Symphony, and with the Symphony of the Air. In addition to conducting, D'Artega also composed well over 50 popular compositions, both alone and sometimes with others. Perhaps his best known work was In The Blue Of Evening (on which he collaborated with Thomas Montgomery Adair). It was a hit recording for Frank Sinatra with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra in 1943.

Walter R. Collins is remembered for his days as the distinguished Musical Director of the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea, and also for conducting the London Promenade Orchestra for the Paxton Recorded Music Library during the 1940s. Earlier, in 1928, his own orchestra was sufficiently well respected to undertake a tour in Germany, and during his long career he was a prolific composer and arranger.

The contribution from Sidney Torch (1908-1990) Spring Is Here is taken from a rare album called "Music From Across The Sea" for the US label Coral. Those familiar with Torch’s work will find little evidence of his usual style in the orchestration; indeed it is possible that Torch merely fronted the orchestra.

Charles Williams (real name Isaac Cozerbreit: 1893-1978) began his career accompanying silent films, then played violin under the batons of Beecham and Elgar. Right from the start of the ‘talkies’, he provided scores for numerous British films, and his "Dream Of Olwen" is still remembered long after the film in which it appeared – "While I Live". In 1960 his theme for the film "The Apartment" topped the American charts, although in reality the producers had resurrected one of his earlier works "Jealous Lover".

Born in Toronto, Canada, Robert Farnon (1917-2005) possessed the ability to create exceptional arrangements – something recognised by André Previn who said that he was the world’s greatest living writer for strings. In his later career Farnon was in demand to arrange and conduct for major international stars such as Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan, Tony Bennett, Lena Horne and George Shearing.

Dolf van der Linden (real name David Gysbert van der Linden, 1915-1999) was the leading figure on the light music scene in the Netherlands from the 1940s until the1980s. As well as broadcasting frequently with his Metropole Orchestra, he made numerous recordings for the background music libraries of major music publishers.

Stanley Black (1913-2002) had a busy career encompassing numerous broadcasts, films and a recording contract with Decca which resulted in many top selling albums prompting international concert tours. Black received numerous awards, including the OBE in 1985 for his services to music. He was a Life Fellow of the Institute of Arts and Letters, and Life President of the Celebrities Guild of Great Britain.

Eric Coates (1886-1957) was a successful composer of ballads in the early years of the last century, before devoting all his energies to light music. He was particularly adept at writing catchy melodies that appealed as BBC signatures tunes, but he also created many pleasing pastoral cameos such as the Idyll Summer Afternoon.

Cecil Milner (1905-1989) was a respected backroom boy in London music circles, arranging for many top orchestras such as Mantovani, for whom he supplied around 220 scores between 1952 and 1974. He was also an accomplished composer, with his works willingly accepted by background music publishers such as Charles Brull, who issued Midsummer Gladness on one of their mood music 78 discs in 1954. In the cinema he worked on the 1938 film "The Lady Vanishes".

Ron Goodwin (1925-2003) was a brilliant composer, arranger and conductor, whose tuneful music reached the furthest corners of the world. As he gained recognition for his original compositions he became in demand for film scores and among his best-remembered are "633 Squadron", "Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines" and Alfred Hitchcock’s "Frenzy".

Although the record label for Blue September names the Ambrose Orchestra, in truth all the credit has to go to the arranger and conductor Laurie Johnson (b.1927), who has been a leading figure on the British entertainment scene for 50 years. A gifted arranger and composer, Laurie has contributed to films, musical theatre, radio, television and records, with his music used in many well-known productions such as "The Avengers" and "The Professionals".

As well as being a respected arranger and conductor, Richard Hayman (b. 1920) was also a harmonica virtuoso, and he sometimes adapted his scores of popular melodies so that he could perform on his favourite instrument.

Roberto Inglez was actually a Scotsman called Robert Inglis (1919-1974) who specialised in Latin American music. He built up a loyal following through his work in leading London West End clubs and his frequent BBC broadcasts.

David Carroll (b. 1913) was musical director of Mercury Records from 1951 to the early 1960s, during which time he accompanied many of the label’s contract singers as well as making some instrumental recordings of his own. Several of his LPs had a ‘dance’ theme, often including his own compositions, and he employed the cream of Chicago’s session musicians.

Victor Young (1900-1956) appears as both composer and conductor in the delicate tone poem In A November Garden. In the original LP sleeve notes Young says that he developed this from a theme in a Paramount film starring Loretta Young and Alan Ladd (he fails to name the movie but it may have been "And Now Tomorrow" in 1944). Young excelled as a violinist, arranger, film composer, songwriter, conductor and record producer. This wide experience in all forms of music, from his first hit song, Sweet Sue, Just You in 1928 to his tremendous score for "Around the World in 80 Days" in 1956, was exceptional even by Tin Pan Alley and Hollywood standards, all the more so because his international reputation was achieved in such a short lifetime. Like so many of his contemporaries, he found work with various dance bands of the 1920s and 1930s, before eventually ending up in Hollywood, where he discovered the ideal outlet for his melodic gifts.

He didn’t orchestrate everything he wrote for the screen (surely he couldn’t have found the time), but used experienced arranger/composers such as Leo Shuken and Sidney Cutner to fill out his sketches. For a while his fellow orchestra leader in the US Decca stable was Gordon Jenkins, who is reported as having said that Victor was a lovely man and a wonderful composer, "but he always had a bad band - full of relatives and refugees from the old country who needed work". Although born in Chicago, Young had strong ties with his grandparents’ country Poland, where he spent some of his formative years (his widowed father abandoned him as a child) and studied at the Warsaw Conservatory of Music together with his sister Helen.

Leroy Holmes (1913-1986) was fairly active in the recording studios in the USA during the 1950s, often specialising in music from films. He seems to be best remembered for his work as orchestra leader on the "Tonight Show" 1956-57.

Ethel Smith (born Goldsmith, 1910-1996) was a virtuoso on the organ who became an international star following her 1940s recording of Tico Tico. This resulted in appearances in several Hollywood films, and she continued to enjoy a successful career with recordings and public appearances for the next thirty years. Her version of Sleigh Ride is a refreshing change to the familiar orchestral version of the Leroy Anderson (1908-1975) classic, which is available on so many other CDs.

The composer of the sensitive piece Winter deserves a special mention. Horace Shepherd (1892-1960 – also known as Hugh Kairs) was musical director and composer of the score for at least ten British films from the 1930s to 1950s, perhaps the best-known being "Hatter’s Castle" (1942) based on the A.J. Cronin novel. He also seems to have been active in Europe – the 1930 French film "Prix de Beauté" being just one example. He contributed a few titles to production music libraries, and is listed as the director of "Making The Grade" (1947), a short film about actors becoming stars which featured Jessie Matthews.

George Melachrino (1909-1965) was one of the top British conductors of light music, with his records (especially LPs) selling in large numbers around the world. Like many of his contemporaries, he served his musical apprenticeship in British Dance Bands (particularly Carroll Gibbons) before World War 2 found him fronting the British Band of the Allied Expeditionary Forces. One of his earliest orchestral HMV 78s takes us from summer to autumn with Victor Herbert’s Indian Summer, then he provides the seasonal climax with a medley of Christmas airs. The first part is subtitled "Christmas Morn" and concentrates mainly on Jingle Bells, although there are snatches of Christians Awake, First Nowell, Home Sweet Home and Good King Wenceslas. Then the mood changes to "Christmas Night" with sounds of children’s jollity eventually fading as midnight approaches, brilliantly conveyed through Come Landlord Fill The Flowing Bowl, Girls And Boys Come Out To Play, Ring A Ring o’Roses, Mistletoe Bough and Silent Night. The arranger is uncredited and, although William Hill-Bowen (1918-1964) was responsible for many of Melachrino’s scores at this time, comparison with George Melachrino’s similar treatments of traditional airs (notably There Is A Tavern In The Town on Guild GLCD 5118, and Little Brown Jug on GLCD 5129) lends strong support to the assumption that the maestro himself created this delightful "Christmas Fantasy". David Ades

Musical Kaleidoscope – Volume 1

1 Kaleidoscope (Artur Clemens Schreckenberger)
NEW CENTURY ORCHESTRA Conducted by ERICH BÖRSCHEL
2 Double Cross (theme from BBC TV series) (Ernest Maxin, arr. Frank Cordell)
FRANK CORDELL AND HIS ORCHESTRA
3 Ballet Of Madeira (Gregori, Freitas)
JOHNNY DOUGLAS AND HIS ORCHESTRA
4 Dance Of The Spanish Onion (David Rose)
MANTOVANI AND HIS ORCHESTRA
5 Cockney Girl (George Melachrino)
GEORGE MELACHRINO AND HIS ORCHESTRA
6 Fiesta (Paul Stewart, real name Jack Coles)
THE EMBASSY ORCHESTRA Directed by JACK COLES
7 In Happy Mood (Percival Mackey)
WEST END CELEBRITY ORCHESTRA
8 Policeman’s Holiday (Montague Ewing)
NEW LIGHT SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
9 Pavanne (Morton Gould)
JAY WILBUR’S SERENADERS
10 Plaisir D’Amour (Jean Paul Egide Martini -real name Johann Schwartzendorf- arr. Fred Hartley)
FRED HARTLEY AND HIS MUSIC
11 Roses At Dawning (Le Boy Kahn, Gus Kahn, Neil Moret)
REGINALD KING’S ORCHESTRA
12 Legend (Henry Croudson)
LONDON PROMENADE ORCHESTRA Conducted by WALTER COLLINS
13 Keep Moving (Frederick George Charrosin)
LOUIS VOSS AND HIS ORCHESTRA
14 Sailors’ Holiday (Edgar Martell)
WEST END CELEBRITY ORCHESTRA
15 Blue Devils (Charles Williams, arr. Adolf Lotter)
LONDON PALLADIUM ORCHESTRA Conducted by RICHARD CREAN

Seven Famous BBC Orchestras

16 Oranges And Lemons (Traditional arr. Jack Byfield)
LONDON STUDIO PLAYERS Conducted by MICHAEL KREIN
17 Music for "Rivers Of The North Of England" – Serene & Flowing (Lambert Williamson)
BBC NORTHERN ORCHESTRA Conducted by CHARLES GROVES
18 Dance Of A Whimsical Elf (Haydn Wood)
BBC THEATRE ORCHESTRA Conducted by HAROLD LOWE
19 Manx Dirk Dance (Reeaghyn-dy-vannin) (from "Two Celtic Dances For Orchestra") (Arnold Foster)
BBC SCOTTISH ORCHESTRA Conducted by GUY WARRACK
Open Windows – Suite (Geoffrey Henman, orchestrated by Oliphant Chuckerbutty)
20 Country Air
21 Butterflies
22 Song Of The Sinhalese
23 Dancing Sunlight
BBC REVUE ORCHESTRA Conducted by CHARLES GROVES
24 Music Of The People – England (Traditional arr. Gilbert Vinter)
BBC MIDLAND LIGHT ORCHESTRA Conducted by GILBERT VINTER
25 Here’s To The Good Old Whisky (Traditional, arr. Clive Richardson)
BBC VARIETY ORCHESTRA Conducted by CHARLES SHADWELL
26 Oranges And Lemons (Traditional arr. Spike Hughes)
BBC THEATRE ORCHESTRA Conducted by HAROLD LOWE
27 Legion Patrol (Jack Simpson)
BILLY COTTON AND HIS BAND

GLCD 5139   MUSICAL KALEIDOSCOPE - 1Guild GLCD 5139

Putting together collections for Guild Music’s "Golden Age of Light Music" series is usually most pleasurable, but at times it can also be frustrating. The reason is that there are certain pieces of music which, for various reasons, just don’t seem to fit in with the theme of a particular compilation being prepared. Yet they may be high on the list of titles which have an important place in the body of work by a particular composer, and often they have been specially requested by music lovers who have been seeking them for decades: one collector recently thanked Guild for a piece of music last heard over fifty years ago! So this selection is notable for not having a specific theme – except that it is a deliberate attempt to offer a wide variety of styles and ensembles to stimulate the senses and hopefully spring a few surprises along the way. A good number of the tracks are requests, and maybe this CD could be called "Son of Buried Treasures" because it does bear some resemblance to a previous mélange on GLCD 5118 which was so favourably received.

As work on this collection progressed it soon became obvious that a further volume would be needed, if we were to be able to include all the special requests we have received. A second helping is available on Guild GLCD 5140 and, like this one, it commences with a piece called Kaleidoscope. This time the composer is Artur Clemens Schreckenberger (d. 1989) who was also active as an arranger and publisher in Germany. Our researches have revealed little about his career, but thankfully the same cannot be said of Frank Cordell (1918-1980). He was a fine British composer, arranger and conductor whose work first became noticed through the tuneful backings he often supplied to some contract singers on HMV singles in the 1950s. Occasionally he was allowed his own 78s, and he was also responsible for several fine LPs which quickly became collectors’ items. The cinema beckoned with some prestigious projects including "The Captain’s Table" (1959), "Flight From Ashiya" (1964), "Khartoum" (1966), "Mosquito Squadron" (1969), "Ring Of Bright Water" (1969), "Hell Boats" (1970), "Cromwell" (1970) for he was nominated for an Oscar, "Trial By Combat" (1976) and "God Told Me To" (1976). From time to time he contributed to publishers’ production music libraries, and also composed (and conducted) under the name Francis Meillear (or Meilleur). Frank’s track on this CD is the theme for a BBC Television series of the 1950s, composed by Ernest Maxin (b. 1923) who was also the producer of "Double Cross" – a comedy thriller starring Jimmy Jewel, Ben Warriss and Jill Day. During his long career in television he was variously performer, writer and producer (notably "Morecambe and Wise"), and he also conducted a few orchestral recordings under his own name.

Johnny Douglas (1920-2003) was a talented pianist, composer and arranger who recorded over 500 titles for Decca, and received many commissions for radio and television work. In 1958 he was asked to score and conduct "Living Strings Play Music of the Sea" for RCA, which was recorded at the Kingsway Hall, London, with an orchestra of 61 musicians. This began his long association with RCA, New York, and during the next twenty-five years he made 80 albums for RCA alone and received a Gold disc for the RCA album entitled "Feelings". Johnny has to his credit over 100 albums and 36 feature films, the most well-known of the latter being "The Railway Children" for which he received a British Academy Film & TV Arts Nomination.

Mantovani (1905-1980) was, for a time, the most successful British recording orchestra leader, whose LPs sold in their millions world-wide. But before Ronald Binge (1910-1979) created the ‘cascading strings’ effect that would make Italian-born Annunzio Mantovani so popular, he was already making light music recordings of a high standard, and Dance Of The Spanish Onion by the legendary David Rose (1910-1990) is a perfect example. Rather than follow the original score, Mantovani cleverly adapted it to provide a special appeal which still sounds fresh today.

George Miltiades Melachrino (1909-1965) sold millions of LPs around the world, especially in north America, yet his early career found him playing and singing in British dance bands of the 1930s. He was also an accomplished composer, and his contribution to this collection is certainly a rarity. Cockney Girl was actually three short pieces written for the short-lived EMI Mood Music Library in the late 1940s, which the publishers hoped would be used as the theme for a radio series. At that time a number of composers were writing works with the same object in mind, offering an opening, middle theme and final closing music to suit various moods. Cockney Girl is presented here without the gaps, illustrating the kind of carefree, bright light music that was so plentiful in the years following the Second World War.

Jack Coles (1914-1991) was a student at Kneller Hall School of Music where he won a Gold Cup for being the best all-round pupil of his year. He played trumpet in dance bands and orchestras until 1946 when he formed his own Music Masters dance band for broadcasting. Later he ventured more into the realms of Light Music with his Orchestre Moderne, appearing on popular shows such as Music While You Work, Melody Hour and Morning Music. Eventually in 1960 he became conductor of the BBC Midland Light Orchestra, and he was also busy in the fields of composing and arranging for films, theatre, television and radio. For some reason he was not often asked to make commercial recordings, and the Embassy 78 in this collection appears to be the only example of a light orchestral single on this budget label which was exclusive to Woolworths in the UK and concentrated mainly on ‘cover’ versions of Top 20 hits. Jack (his real names were John Robert Coles) also wrote mood music, and in addition to works under his own name he also composed as ‘Paul Stewart’ and ‘Paul Vincent’. His biggest success as a writer was Tyrolean Tango, which was re-named The Echo Tango when recorded in the USA by Duke Ellington.

Montague Ewing (1890-1957) also composed under the name ‘Sherman Myers’, and he had a most successful career mainly as a composer and arranger of light music and popular songs. Probably most successful of all was his Policeman’s Holiday which enjoyed additional appeal when lyrics were added.

The famous Pavanne by Morton Gould (1913-1996) is given a refreshingly different treatment by the British bandleader Jay Wilbur (1898-1970). He had a long career which encompassed numerous recordings in the 1930s for labels such as Dominion, Imperial and Rex, and a spell making mood music recordings for London publishers Boosey & Hawkes. Like several other musicians, when he found that his style fell out of favour in Britain after the war, he emigrated to continue his career in South Africa where he died in Cape Town.

Fred Hartley (1905-1980) was a prolific composer and arranger who became known to millions in Britain through his regular broadcasts. He joined the BBC as an accompanist, having made his first broadcast as a solo pianist as early as 1925. He founded his Novelty Quintet in 1931, and by 1946 he had become the BBC’s Head of Light Music.

Special attention should be drawn to Blue Devils by the famous light music composer Charles Williams (1893-1978). This march was his first big success as a composer, and it was originally published as The Kensington March. Respected researchers believe that it was written for the opening of the Kensington Kinema early in 1926, where Charles Williams conducted the orchestra. It is suggested that the piece was renamed when Williams left the Kensington cinema at the end of 1928; the official publication date for Blue Devils is shown as 1929 on the sheet music. Its enduring popularity prompted the London Palladium Orchestra to record it for HMV in 1933.

In the 1940s and 1950s the BBC in Britain was almost certainly the largest single employer of musicians in the world – this is also true today although the numbers are considerably smaller.

Back then, in addition to the seven orchestras featured on this CD, there were also The BBC Symphony Orchestra (extant); The BBC Scottish Variety Orchestra (which became the BBC Scottish Radio Orchestra); The BBC Northern Ireland Light Orchestra (which was subsumed into the Ulster Orchestra); The BBC Northern Variety Orchestra (which became The BBC Northern Dance Orchestra); The BBC West Of England Light Orchestra (later The West Of England Players); The BBC Welsh Orchestra (now the BBC National Orchestra of Wales); and The BBC Dance Orchestra. To complement these orchestras there was also the prestigious BBC Military Band (featured on Guild GLCD 5117)

As well as the above ‘house’ orchestras, the BBC schedules of those days regularly featured literally dozens of other musical ensembles, ranging from orchestras and brass bands to small groups and theatre organs. To avoid (or cause!) confusion, it should be noted that the BBC Theatre Orchestra later became the BBC Opera Orchestra which, in 1952, formed the basis of the BBC Concert Orchestra, which still exists, as does The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. The Midland Light Orchestra became the Midland Radio Orchestra; the Variety and Revue Orchestras were combined, in 1964, into The BBC Radio Orchestra; and the BBC Northern Orchestra is now known as The BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. Other than the Concert Orchestra, all of the remaining BBC light orchestras were disbanded in the 1970s and 80s with the Radio Orchestra surviving until the early 1990s.

The traditional English air Oranges and Lemons used to open broadcasting on the BBC Light Programme, and two different arrangements were employed. Both became very familiar to millions of listeners, and since neither of the original versions has been previously available on a commercial recording we have decided to include them both in this mini-tribute to the golden age of BBC orchestras. They should not be confused with the re-recordings made by Vilem Tausky (1910-2004) and the BBC Concert Orchestra and used from 1962. The other well-known theme in this section is Music for "Rivers Of The North Of England" – originally incidental music for a radio feature, but subsequently chosen to introduce a monthly series of programmes about the countryside which ran for many years on the BBC Home Service.

Keeping with our BBC theme, for many years in Britain Sunday lunch was accompanied by popular music on the BBC Light Programme, and one of the longest running radio series was "The Billy Cotton Band Show", first broadcast in 1949. Bill’s signature tune was Somebody Stole My Gal, but if there was still time to fill at the end of the show the band played Legion Patrol by Jack Simpson, a well-known percussionist who fronted his own group on records in the 1940s. Usually only the first few bars of this number were heard, and many people failed to realise that Billy Cotton (1899-1969) had actually made a record of it. But he certainly did, and in response to several requests it appears as the closing music in this Kaleidoscope - happily on this occasion it is not faded out! David Ades

LIGHT MUSIC CDs – SEPTEMBER

The Guild "Golden Age of Light Music" continues to restore many neglected works to the catalogue, and the latest two are listed below.

 Marching and Waltzing

 1 King Cotton (John Philip Sousa)
LONDON COLISEUM ORCHESTRA Conducted by REGINALD BURSTON
2 Melba Waltz (from the film "Melba") (Mischa Spoliansky, arr. Ron Goodwin)
RON GOODWIN AND HIS CONCERT ORCHESTRA
3 Blaze Away (Abraham Holzmann, arr. Sidney Torch)
SIDNEY TORCH AND HIS ORCHESTRA
4 Absinthe Frappé (Victor Herbert)
AL GOODMAN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
5 Royal Standard (Archibald Joyce)
WEST END CELEBRITY ORCHESTRA Conducted by LOUIS VOSS
6 One Love (David Rose)
DAVID ROSE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
7 The Spirit Of Youth – March (Gilbert)
LONDON PALLADIUM ORCHESTRA Conducted by JACK FRERE
8 Mayfair Cinderella (Albert William Ketèlbey)
LONDON CONCERT ORCHESTRA
9 Oxford Street (from "London Again" Suite) (Eric Coates)
TIVOLI CONCERT HALL ORCHESTRA Conducted by SVEND CHRISTIAN FELUMB
10 The Young Ballerina (BBC TV’s music for the famous Potters Wheel interlude) (Charles Williams)
DANISH STATE RADIO ORCHESTRA Conducted by ROBERT FARNON
11 Proud And Free (Ronald Hanmer)
SYMPHONIA ORCHESTRA Conducted by THEO ARDEN
12 Shadow Waltz (from film "Gold Diggers of 1933") (Harry Warren)
MORTON GOULD AND HIS ORCHESTRA
13 Strings On Parade (Ray Martin)
CYRIL STAPLETON AND HIS CONCERT ORCHESTRA
14 Someday I’ll Find You (from "Private Lives") (Noel Coward)
FRANK CHACKSFIELD AND HIS ORCHESTRA
15 Empire Builders March (from film "Rhodes Of Africa") (Hubert Bath)
LOUIS LEVY and his GAUMONT BRITISH SYMPHONY
16 Love’s Roundabout (from film "La Ronde") (Oscar Straus)
LOU PREAGER AND HIS CHARM OF THE WALTZ ORCHESTRA
17 Out Of Town March (Robert Farnon)
DANISH STATE RADIO ORCHESTRA Conducted by ROBERT FARNON
18 Just The One I Adore (Gypsy Seydell Beal, Eddie Medel)
DAVID CARROLL AND HIS ORCHESTRA
19 Tom Marches On (Clive Richardson)
LONDON PROMENADE ORCHESTRA Conducted by WALTER COLLINS
20 Mademoiselle de Paris (Paul Jules Durand, arr. Percy Faith)
PERCY FAITH AND HIS ORCHESTRA
21 On The Quarter Deck (Kenneth J. Alford, real name Frederick Joseph Ricketts)
OLD TYME ORCHESTRA Conducted by JACK LEON
22 Ziehrer Waltz Medley (Carl Michael Ziehrer)
MAREK WEBER AND HIS ORCHESTRA
23 Battle March (C.C. Moller)
AAHRUS CIVIC ORCHESTRA Conducted by THOMAS JENSEN
24 Family Album – Waltz (from "Tonight at 8.30") (Noel Coward)
PHOENIX THEATRE ORCHESTRA Conducted by CLIFFORD GREENWOOD
25 The Middy (Kenneth J. Alford, real name Frederick Joseph Ricketts)
REGENT CONCERT ORCHESTRA
26 Melody Of Love (Hans Engelmann)
BILLY VAUGHN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
27 Great Quest (Trevor Duncan, real name Leonard Trebilco)
NEW CONCERT ORCHESTRA Conducted by DOLF VAN DER LINDEN

GUILD GLCD5136

"Marching and Waltzing" was the title of a popular BBC radio programme around forty years ago. The format was simple: an enjoyable selection of alternating marches and waltzes, with occasional less familiar compositions interspersed with tried and tested favourites.

The notion that marches and waltzes always adhered to strict guidelines, which could result in a boring sequence of similar-sounding pieces, was certainly proved untrue. Both of these musical forms have been developed by talented composers and arrangers into many varied styles. As Eric Coates famously once commented: "my marches aren’t intended for marching and my waltzes aren’t intended for waltzing", and the same can be said of the works of many composers.

However those listeners who would appreciate some examples of what might be termed ‘true’ marches and waltzes will not be disappointed with this collection. Equally others who get satisfaction from hearing how arrangers have adapted the underlying rhythms inherent in the basic structure of these works should also find much to please them.

The CD commences with a great number from the man widely regarded as the American ‘March King’ – John Philip Sousa (1854-1932). His King Cotton (composed in 1895) was used as a signature tune for this programme by the BBC, although Vienna Blood was also chosen on occasions. Sousa is probably the most famous composer of military marches, and he was also a busy conductor. In addition to marches he was active in other musical fields: incredibly he wrote ten operas and a number of musical suites. He also composed scores for Broadway musicals, although it took several attempts before he had a measure of success in this genre with El Capitan in 1896. He formed his own band in 1892 and undertook many tours, both in the USA and in Europe. He also found time to write three novels and an autobiography, but he did not take kindly to new inventions. For many years he resisted conducting on radio, and in a submission to a congressional hearing in 1906 he predicted that the fledgling recording industry would result in people losing the use of their vocal cords because they would listen to others singing songs, rather than perform them for themselves. Despite his feelings towards the new technologies, they must have earned him a considerable amount in royalties, particularly from around 100 marches of which the most famous were Semper Fidelis, Liberty Bell, Washington Post and The Stars and Stripes Forever – the last named piece being the final work he conducted at the age of 77 in Reading, Pennsylvania, where he died following a rehearsal.

Another American composer who was a contemporary of Sousa was Abraham Holzmann (1874-1939) whose greatest march success was Blaze Away, composed in 1901. But he earned his living mainly from Tin Pan Alley where he wrote and arranged popular songs for publishers such as Leo Feist. [Leo Feist (1869-1930) began his career as a corset salesman and composed songs for his own enjoyment. When he failed to find a publisher for his work, he set up his own firm to deal in popular songs. "You can’t go wrong with a Feist song" was the slogan printed on every copy of the firm’s sheet music, which eventually numbered in thousands.] Today Abe Holzmann is fondly remembered by lovers of ragtime, but he also penned many marches, waltzes and other pieces of light music.

Dublin-born Victor August Herbert (1859-1924) was an accomplished cellist, composer, conductor and orchestrator who made a profound impression upon the American popular music scene. Due to his father’s death when he was under four, the Herbert family lived for a while with his paternal grandfather who was a keen artist; musicians and writers were frequent visitors, and young Victor was exposed to music from early childhood. His mother remarried and by 1866 the family had relocated to Stuttgart in Germany, but Victor’s plans for a medical profession were dashed due to lack of funds. He earned money playing the cello in leading German orchestras, and during a period with the Royal Court Orchestra in Stuttgart he studied under Max Seifriz, one of the finest teachers of composition at that time. In October 1886 he arrived in the USA and was employed in the pit orchestra at New York’s Metropolitan Opera Company. Within a short while his career blossomed, and he was fortunate that his own works (notably his Suite for Cello and Orchestra Op. 3) were well received by critics and the public. Soon he was also conducting, and among his numerous writing achievements are two operas, forty-three operettas, incidental music for stage productions (including several Ziegfeld Follies), plus songs and compositions for band, cello, violin, flute and clarinet. He orchestrated the works of many of his contemporaries, but his musical legacy is founded upon his charming operettas such as Babes in Toyland and Naughty Marietta. Absinthe Frappé comes from his operetta It Happened in Nordland (1904). With John Philip Sousa, Irving Berlin and others, Victor Herbert was one of the founders in 1914 of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Albert William Ketèlbey (1875-1959) was a highly successful composer, who earned the equivalent of millions of pounds during the peak of his popularity. Pieces such as In a Monastery Garden, The Phantom Melody, In a Persian Market and Bells Across the Meadows brought him international fame, no doubt assisted by his enthusiastic participation in the rapidly growing business of producing gramophone records. As well as also being an arranger and conductor, he was an accomplished pianist and organist, and was proficient on oboe, cello, clarinet and horn. Once he had achieved his fame, and a style that became closely associated with him, he seemed unwilling to adapt to the new rhythms and influences that were gaining popularity – particularly during the 1930s. His own music gradually went out of vogue, and the previous age of romance, that had its roots in the self-confidence of the Edwardian age, seemed to be in terminal decline. But Ketèlbey was far from forgotten, and the LP era of the 1950s resulted in a renewed interest in his beautifully crafted melodies. He was able to spend his later years in comfortable retirement on the peaceful Isle of Wight.

Mischa Spoliansky (1898-1985) was a Russian-born composer who fled his homeland following the revolution and became a leading figure in Berlin’s thriving cabaret scene during the 1920s and early 1930s. When he arrived in Berlin he was offered the position of conductor at Max Reinhardt's Keller-Kabarett of the Grosses Schauspielhaus, where he embraced the core of Berlin’s cultural life and got to know the most important artists of that time. When the German film industry moved into ‘talkies’ his songs enhanced several popular films, but after the Nazi regime was elected to power in 1933 he was forced to flee for the second time in his life and he left Germany and chose to settle in England. His reputation had preceded him, and he had no problem in finding work in the thriving British film industry, where Alexander Korda offered him several prestigious productions such as Sanders of the River (1935) and The Ghost Goes West (1935). Numerous film commissions followed like King Solomon’s Mines (1937), The Man Who Could Work Miracles (1936), Wanted for Murder (1946), Idol of Paris (1948), Stage Fright (1950), The Happiest Days of Your Life (1950), Happy Go Lovely (1951), Melba (1953), Turn the Key Softly (1953), Trouble in Store (1953), Saint Joan (1957) and North West Frontier (1959). His eldest daughter was the actress Spoli Mills (Irmgard Spoliansky, 1923-2004). One of her favourite anecdotes concerned the day she was returning home and found her eccentric father standing, rather sheepishly, in the subway at London’s Hyde Park Corner. On the ground beside him was a flat cap containing a few coins. When she asked what he thought he was doing, he explained that the harmonica player who usually stood there had gone for a drink and he was keeping an eye on the pitch. "But why you?" his daughter pressed. "He's a fellow musician," her father replied.

Archibald Joyce (1873-1963) learned the piano and violin as a child, and much of his life as a professional musician involved playing in ballrooms, theatres and the concert hall, especially before and after the First World War. Indeed his own orchestra was held in such high esteem that it played for Royalty and at major state occasions, and through his many compositions Joyce became known as ‘The English Waltz King’. He was also adept at writing marches, no doubt partly due to the influence of his father, who was a band sergeant with the Grenadier Guards. Unlike his contemporaries Eric Coates and Haydn Wood, Archibald Joyce did not allow his composing style to move with the times, preferring instead to believe that his music was intended for dancing, rather than listening (unlike Eric Coates!).

Ronald Hanmer (1917-1994) was a prolific composer and arranger whose proud boast was that he had worked in the music business since the day he left school. Like his contemporary Sidney Torch, he served his ‘apprenticeship’ as a cinema organist, and soon developed his talent for composing and arranging. Many of his comic creations enlivened the BBC’s wartime ITMA broadcasts (his arrangement of Ten Green Bottles is on Guild GLCD 5102), and eventually over 700 of his compositions were published in various background music libraries. His film scores include Made in Heaven (1952), Penny Princess (1952) and Top of the Form (1953). He was also in demand as an orchestrator of well-known works for Amateur Societies, and the brass band world was very familiar with his scores – sometimes used as test pieces. In 1975 he emigrated to Australia, where he was delighted to discover that his melody Pastorale was famous throughout the land as the theme for the long-running radio serial Blue Hills. In Britain his best-known theme was the signature tune for BBC radio’s The Adventures of P.C. 49; the music came from a Francis, Day & Hunter Mood Music 78 simply called Changing Moods.

Students of the Viennese school of music regard Carl Michael Ziehrer (1843-1922) as one of the main rivals to the dominance of the Strauss family. His career was similar, with no less than twenty-three operettas to his name. In total he composed around 600 works, of which many were waltzes and marches. His waltzes in the selection on this CD are Vienna Citizens, Vienna Beauty and In a Beautiful Night. Ziehrer made his debut as a conductor in 1863 leading a dance orchestra, and later served several terms as bandmaster with the famous Hoch und Deutschmeister Regiment, which gained him wide public recognition and invitations to perform overseas. In 1909 he was honoured by the Emperor Franz Joseph with the appointment as Imperial Ball Director, the last person to hold the title.

Light Music While You Work – Volume 2

1 Calling All Workers – excerpt (Eric Coates)
ERIC COATES and SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
2 Marche Lorraine (Louis Ganne)
LONDON COLISEUM ORCHESTRA Conducted by REGINALD BURSTON
3 "The Dancing Years" – Selection from show (1939) (Ivor Novello)
HARRY FRYER AND HIS ORCHESTRA
4 The Floral Dance (Katy Moss)
HARRY DAVIDSON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
5 Sleeping Beauty Waltz (Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky)
RICHARD CREAN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
6 Pierrot Comes To Town (Sherman Myers, real name Montague Ewing)
HAROLD COLLINS AND HIS ORCHESTRA
7 Lehar In The Ballroom (Franz Lehar)
WYNFORD REYNOLDS AND HIS ORCHESTRA
8 Toy Trumpet (Raymond Scott)
REGINALD PURSGLOVE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
9 Girl Crazy – Selection (George Gershwin)
STUDIO ORCHESTRA Conducted by PHIL GREEN
10 Die Fledermaus – Waltz (Johann Strauss, arr. Ronnie Munro)
RONNIE MUNRO AND HIS SCOTTISH VARIETY ORCHESTRA
11 Theatreland (Jack Strachey)
HARRY FRYER AND HIS ORCHESTRA
12 Sizilietta (Franz Von Blon)
DAVID JAVA AND HIS ORCHESTRA
13 Castles In Spain (Charles W. Ancliffe)
LONDON COLISEUM ORCHESTRA Conducted by REGINALD BURSTON
14 One Exciting Night – Selection from film (1944) (Georges Boulanger and others)
PHIL GREEN AND HIS THEATRELAND ORCHESTRA
15 Fashionette (Jack Glogan, Robert A. King)
HAROLD COLLINS AND HIS ORCHESTRA
16 Moment Musical (Franz Peter Schubert)
RICHARD CREAN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
17 Scarlet And Gold (Lloyd Thomas)
LONDON COLISEUM ORCHESTRA Conducted by REGINALD BURSTON
18 Softly Unawares (Paul Lincke)
HARRY DAVIDSON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
19 Journey To A Star; No Love No Nothing (both by Harry Warren, Leo Robin)
STUDIO ORCHESTRA Conducted by PHIL GREEN
20 Emperor Waltz (Johann Strauss, arr. Ronnie Munro)
RONNIE MUNRO AND HIS WALTZ ORCHESTRA
21 Butterflies In The Rain (Sherman Myers, real name Montague Ewing)
HAROLD COLLINS AND HIS ORCHESTRA
22 Bal Masque (from Two Parisian Sketches) (Percy Fletcher)
RICHARD CREAN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
23 With Sword And Lance (Lance Starke)
LONDON COLISEUM ORCHESTRA Conducted by REGINALD BURSTON
24 Turkey In The Straw (Trad. arr. Harry Davidson)
HARRY DAVIDSON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
25 Lady In The Dark – Selection from show (1941) also film (1944) (Kurt Weill, Ira Gershwin))
PHIL GREEN AND HIS THEATRELAND ORCHESTRA
26 Calling All Workers – excerpt (Eric Coates)
ERIC COATES AND SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

GUILD GLCD5137

The enthusiastic response to Guild’s first dip into the catalogue of music recorded in the 1940s for Decca’s Music While You Work label (on Guild GLCD 5128) has meant that a second volume simply had to follow. This time there are some new names, but the general concept follows the pattern that was fully explained in the booklet notes for the earlier collection.

In summary, the title ‘Music While You Work’ was the name of a BBC radio programme that was first broadcast at 10.30am on Sunday 23 June 1940. It soon became something of an institution in British broadcasting, where it was to remain in the schedules for an unbroken run of 27 years. It was resurrected for short runs in the 1980s and 1990s before the very last broadcast was heard in 1995.

The man credited with the original idea – and its successful implementation – was Wynford Reynolds (1899-1958). ‘Live’ musicians were usually engaged for the programme, ranging from solo performers such as organists, to small groups, dance bands, light orchestras and military bands. The shows were aimed at factory workers during the Second World War, and it was hoped that the choice of music would relieve the boredom of many repetitive tasks and thus assist productivity.

However the factories soon realised that they needed to provide such music throughout the day, and gramophone records were the obvious answer to fill those periods when suitable music was not being broadcast by the BBC.

Someone at Decca proposed that a special series of 78s would suit this purpose admirably and their own "Music While You Work" label was born; sensibly they sought Wynford Reynolds’ advice from the outset, and he even made some of the 78s with his own orchestra. These were not intended to be an accurate carbon copy of the BBC broadcasts, and the orchestras on the Decca records (mostly their contract artists) did not necessarily also perform on the radio. But they did succeed in conveying the ‘feel’ of the programme and have provided a fascinating subject for collectors to study over the years.

The signature tune chosen by the BBC was Calling All Workers composed by Eric Coates (1886-1957). By this time he was recognised as possibly England’s greatest living composer of light music, and he acquired the knack of writing catchy, memorable tunes that were ideal as introductions to regular programmes on radio and later television. His Knightsbridge March introduced "In Town Tonight" from 1933 to 1960, and towards the end of his life Coates composed the famous march for the film "The Dam Busters" (1954). Calling All Workers was written in 1940 at the request of his wife, Phyllis, who was working in the Red Cross making wartime medical supplies. She wanted a march to which she and her companions could work, which his biographer says inspired Eric to incorporate sewing machine patterns in his music. After the programme had been running for three months without a signature tune, in October 1940 it was adopted by the BBC for "Music While You Work" and achieved universal popularity. In the first Guild volume devoted to this music we included this work in full by an excellent Danish orchestra; on this occasion it is abridged and, although it is readily available in its complete original version elsewhere, in tribute to the composer we have used his own recording from 1940.

This time several contributors to Decca’s MWYW series – missing from volume 1 – have been included, notably Reginald Burston with the London Coliseum Orchestra, Harold Collins, David Java and the man credited with coming up with the idea in the first place, Wynford Reynolds.

Considering his musical background, it is likely that Wynford Hubert Reynolds (1899-1958) had little problem in persuading the BBC that he had the necessary knowledge to launch "Music While You Work". He was already on the staff of the BBC as a producer, although he was also an experienced performer. He was born in Ebbw Vale, Wales, and his early musical training at the Royal Academy of Music concentrated on the violin, viola and composition. Like many of his fellow musicians, he provided music for silent films, and eventually joined the Queen’s Hall Orchestra under its illustrious conductor (and founder of London’s Promenade Concerts) Sir Henry Wood.

Reynolds became involved with the early days of radio in the 1920s, and it wasn’t long before he formed his own orchestra for concerts (including engagements at seaside venues) and broadcasts. In 1941 the BBC gave him the important-sounding title ‘Music While You Work Organiser’ but, due to the strict rules imposed by the Corporation on its own employees, this prevented him from appearing with his orchestra in the programmes. He left this position in 1944, and went back to performing on radio, not only in "Music While You Work" but also, later, in popular shows such as "Bright and Early" and "Morning Music". Happily the recordings he made for Decca’s MWYW series are evidence of the high quality of his music, although his influence extended far beyond those 78s bearing his own orchestra’s name: he produced the majority of around 420 discs that were issued before the series ended with the final releases in January 1947.

The London Coliseum (also known as the Coliseum Theatre) was built in St. Martin’s Lane by the famous theatre impresario and architect, Oswald Stoll, and it opened for its first performance on 24 December 1904. Since then it has undergone changes of name, various refurbishments and different kinds of productions, ranging from variety and operetta to ballet and opera – it is now the home of English National Opera. Reginald Burston (d. 1968) was an experienced musical director who was regularly employed in various London theatres ranging from D’Oyly Carte Opera to prestigious Noel Coward productions and lavish post-war American musicals. In the mid-1930s he conducted the BBC Midland Orchestra, then in 1936 he took over the baton of the BBC Revue Orchestra for several years.

Like Reginald Burston, Harold Collins (c.1900 - c.1971) arold Collins, David Java

at one time was MD at the London Coliseum, although he also held positions at various provincial theatres. Originally a pianist, it seems he gave his first broadcast from Plymouth in 1936 where he was resident conductor at the Palace Theatre, and was hired by the BBC for "Music While You Work" soon after the programme was launched. In total he appeared in 227 programmes with his Orchestra, and he also made a good number of records for Decca’s MWYW series, usually with a smaller ensemble in a style that suited the light repertoire that was his speciality – his three tracks in this collection are ideal examples. In later years he was heard in BBC shows "Morning Music" and "Melody On The Move", and through his work with Norman Wisdom he appeared on ITV’s top Sunday evening shows from the London Palladium and the Prince of Wales Theatre.

David Java only made one record for Decca’s MWYW series, and his career is poorly documented. In 1938 he played violin alongside Sidney Sax on several Victor Silvester recordings for Parlophone, and again on some Columbia recordings in 1941 when Oscar Grasso, Alfredo Campoli, Reginald Kilbey and Eugene Pini were among the distinguished violin players whom Silvester employed. After the war David Java supplied orchestras for Lyons’ Corner House restaurant and presumably other similar venues.

Harry Davidson (1892-1967) enjoyed two successful, and different, careers before and following the Second World War. After various engagements around London and the north-east of England spanning the years 1914 to 1929, he finally secured the highly prestigious appointment as organist at the newly built Commodore Theatre at Hammersmith in London. The Commodore had a fine 18-piece orchestra conducted by Joseph Muscant (1899-1983) and by the early 1930s it had acquired a loyal national following for its regular broadcasts. After five years Muscant left to take over the Troxy Broadcasting Orchestra and, in July 1934, Harry Davidson stepped into his shoes. (Recordings by both the Commodore and Troxy orchestras may be found on previous Guild Light Music CDs). Although the Commodore orchestra was disbanded during the war, Davidson managed to keep many of his superb musicians together and soon he was broadcasting regularly, notching up no less than 109 editions of "Music While You Work". To correct an error which crept into the notes to the previous volume in this series, it should be pointed out that Harry Davidson achieved this impressive total between 1940 and 1946, not during the programme’s first year. In November 1943 his series "Those Were The Days" appeared for the first time, providing listeners at home with a regular helping of melodious old-time dance music. It became a permanent fixture in the schedules with Harry in charge until ill-health forced him to retire in November 1965. It is also appropriate to mention that he was an extremely prolific recording artist; during the 1950s 78s by his orchestra often occupied almost four pages in EMI Columbia’s annual catalogues.

The other orchestras included on this CD were also featured in the previous Guild MWYW collection, and they were each profiled in the booklet notes. On this occasion, they have had to take a back seat in favour of the ‘new boys’.

Partly through lack of space, 78 record labels sometimes omitted details of the contents of selections, and even composers occasionally became anonymous. If you were lucky, missing information like this might have been gleaned from contemporary record catalogues, but today it is often left to admirers of the last century’s popular music to attempt to supply the names of those elusive song titles. The following list reveals some of the music to be heard in this collection.

"The Dancing Years" Lorelei, My Life Belongs To You, Leap Year Waltz, I Can Give You The Starlight, Waltz Of My Heart.

"Lehar In The Ballroom" Gold And Silver, Count Of Luxembourg, Merry Widow Waltz.

"Girl Crazy" But Not For Me, Embraceable You, Bidin’ My Time.

"One Exciting Night" One Love, There’s A New World Over The Sky Line, My Prayer, It’s Like Old Times.

"Lady In The Dark" Girl Of The Moment, This Is New, Suddenly It’s Spring, Saga Of Jenny, My Ship.

LIGHT MUSIC CDs – JUNE

FOUR MORE CDs ARE NOW AVAILABLE IN THE GUILD "GOLDEN AGE OF LIGHT MUSIC" SERIES

Continental Flavour

1 The Last Time I Saw Paris (Jerome Kern)
RON GOODWIN AND HIS CONCERT ORCHESTRA
2 Mon Pays (Rossi, arr. Frank Cordell)
FRANK CORDELL AND HIS ORCHESTRA
3 Continental Holiday (Douglas Brownsmith)
SYMPHONIA ORCHESTRA Conducted by THEO ARDEN
4 "La Strada" – ‘Road’ theme from the film (Nino Rota)
EDDIE BARCLAY AND HIS ORCHESTRA
5 Malaguena (Ernesto Lecuona)
ROBIN HOOD DELL ORCHESTRA Conducted by MORTON GOULD
6 French Leave (Trevor Duncan, real name Leonard Trebilco)
STUTTGART RADIO ORCHESTRA Conducted by KURT REHFELD
7 Italian Street Song (Victor Herbert)
PETER YORKE AND HIS CONCERT ORCHESTRA
8 Red Sombrero (Ronald Binge)
SIDNEY TORCH AND HIS ORCHESTRA
9 Cachucha (from "In Malaga") (Frederic Curzon)
NEW CONCERT ORCHESTRA Conducted by DOLF VAN DER LINDEN
10 Carnival Time (Dolf van der Linden)
METROPOLE ORCHESTRA Conducted by DOLF VAN DER LINDEN
11 Paris Fashions (Haute Couture) (Roger Roger)
ROGER ROGER AND HIS CHAMPS ELYSEES ORCHESTRA
12 Malaga (Robert Farnon)
ROBERT FARNON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
13 Portuguese Washerwomen (Les Lavandieres de Portugal) (Andre Popp, Roger Lucchesi)
BOB SHARPLES AND HIS MUSIC
14 C’Est Si Bon (Ange Eugene Betti, Jerry Seelen, Andre Hornez – arr. Jo Boyer)
EDDIE BARCLAY AND HIS ORCHESTRA
15 Masquerade In Madrid (Katty)
GUY LUYPAERTS AND HIS ORCHESTRA
16 Latin Quarter (Toots Thielemans)
EMILE DELTOUR AND HIS ORCHESTRA
17 Spanish Gypsy Dance (Narro Pascual Marquina)
HARRY FRYER AND HIS ORCHESTRA
18 Gioia Mia (Louis Castellucci)
CHARLES WILLIAMS AND HIS CONCERT ORCHESTRA
19 Gay Boulevard (Claude Yvoire)
HARMONIC ORCHESTRA Conducted by CLAUDE YVOIRE
20 Folies Espagnoles (Robert Busby)
METROPOLE ORCHESTRA Conducted by DOLF VAN DER LINDEN
21 Acrobatics (Fred Caphat, arr. Götz Höhne)
ROBERT RENARD AND HIS ORCHESTRA – real name OTTO DOBRINDT
22 Riviera Rhapsody (Arnold Steck, real name Leslie Statham)
NEW CONCERT ORCHESTRA Conducted by DOLF VAN DER LINDEN featuring Alexander Glushkoff, piano
23 Fresh Breezes (Borchert)
BARNABAS VON GECZY AND HIS ORCHESTRA
24 Siciliana – Serenata (Schmaltich)
FERDY KAUFFMAN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
25 Music For The Nostalgic Traveller In France (arr. George Melachrino)
THE MELACHRINO ORCHESTRA Conducted by GEORGE MELACHRINO

Guild GLCD 5132

Britons and Americans have always had a fascination for Continental Europe, whether focussing on musical and artistic culture or simply a love of the diversity offered by so many unique countries full of proud traditions and beautiful scenery. This admiration has resulted in many composers producing numerous glorious melodies in tribute to lands far removed from their everyday existence in publishers’ offices in London or New York.

Among the composers and conductors who could be defined as ‘the genuine article’, due to their spheres of influence falling within the boundaries of Continental Europe, it is important to include specific mention of Eddie Barclay, Roger Roger, Guy Luypaerts, Emile Deltour, Claude Yvoire, Otto Dobrindt, Barnabas Von Geczy, Ferdy Kauffmann and the composer/conductor whose light music output was truly prolific – Dolf van der Linden. There is no room on this occasion to include a resumé of their careers, but they each receive special mention in the CD booklet notes.

The final selection is a glorious arrangement by George Melachrino of timeless French melodies that immediately evoke images of sun, wine and good food. In case a few titles may be less familiar than others, you are likely to recognise Sur le pont d’Avignon, Madelon, Le Reve Passe, Aupres de ma Blonde, Il etait une Bergere, Danse Apache, Sous les Toits de Paris and the famous Can Can. Truly, a fitting climax to a musical tour of the Continent.

Amor Amor : Music For Romance

1 Cocktails For Two (Arthur Johnston, Sam Coslow; arr. Robert Farnon)
ROBERT FARNON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
2 Easy To Love (Cole Porter, arr. Ron Goodwin)
RON GOODWIN AND HIS CONCERT ORCHESTRA
3 Sweet Sue (Will Harris, Victor Young)
DAVID ROSE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
4 They Can’t Take That Away From Me (George Gershwin, arr. Johnny Douglas)
JOHNNY DOUGLAS AND HIS ORCHESTRA
5 These Foolish Things (Jack Strachey, Harry Link; arr. Philip Green)
PHILIP GREEN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
6 Starlit Hour (Peter de Rose, arr. Laurie Johnson)
AMBROSE AND HIS ORCHESTRA Conducted by LAURIE JOHNSON
7 Darling Je Vous Aime Beaucoup (Anna Sosenko)
HENRI RENE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
8 The Song Is You (Jerome Kern, arr. Angela Morley)
KINGSWAY PROMENADE ORCHESTRA Conducted by STANLEY BLACK featuring STANLEY BLACK, piano
9 Should I Dream? (George Siravo)
SIDNEY TORCH AND HIS ORCHESTRA
10 I’ll String Along With You (Al Dubin, Harry Warren)
WERNER MULLER AND HIS ORCHESTRA
11 Unforgettable (Irving Gordon, arr. Ray Martin)
RAY MARTIN AND HIS CONCERT ORCHESTRA
12 Lovelight (Robert Harris, arr. Bruce Campbell)
BRUCE CAMPBELL AND HIS ORCHESTRA
13 Last Night When We Were Young (Harold Arlen)
DAVID ROSE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
14 Come Dance With Me (George Blake, Richard Leibert; arr. Robert Farnon)
ROBERT FARNON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
15 My Foolish Heart (Victor Young)
ROBERTO INGLEZ AND HIS ORCHESTRA
16 She’s My Lovely (Vivian Ellis, arr. Philip Green)
PHILIP GREEN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
17 Amor Amor (Ruiz, arr. Frank Cordell)
FRANK CORDELL AND HIS ORCHESTRA
18 Bread, Love and Dreams (Nisa, Cini)
PERCY FAITH AND HIS ORCHESTRA
19 I Love The Moon (Paul A. Rubens)
QUEEN’S HALL LIGHT ORCHESTRA Conducted by CHARLES WILLIAMS
20 The Long Hours (W.H. Hester, Sol Parker)
SIDNEY TORCH AND HIS ORCHESTRA
21 Touch Of Your Hand (Jerome Kern)
GORDON JENKINS AND HIS ORCHESTRA
22 Land Of Dreams (Norman Gimbel, Eddie Heywood)
HUGO WINTERHALTER AND HIS ORCHESTRA featuring EDDIE HEYWOOD, piano
23 Vision Of Delia (Henry Croudson)
THE MELACHRINO STRINGS Conducted by GEORGE MELACHRINO
24 You Were There; Dearest Love (Noel Coward, arr Roland Shaw)
FRANK CHACKSFIELD AND HIS ORCHESTRA

Guild GLCD 5133

Romance has always been in fashion, but its expression in musical terms has certainly gone through many changes. Once upon a time a young swain would probably have serenaded his lady fair to the accompaniment of a stringed instrument of doubtful competence, but by the 1950s it was lush string orchestras that were the order of the day. The arrival of the long playing record at the end of the 1940s provided the ideal medium for programmes of soothing pleasant melodies that could be enjoyed as an accompaniment to dining and virtually any form of relaxation. If the record companies conceived many of these collections purely as background listening they were doing the talented musicians a great disfavour. In any event romantic music was on offer in the form of 78 rpm records long before LPs arrived. Certainly this collection will serve as an enjoyable scene setter, but it is hoped that listeners will recognise and appreciate the professional standards of the arrangers who often worked minor miracles with their transformation of simple melodies into such pleasing cameos. Again there is no room for individual pen portraits – you will have to buy the CD!

Four Decades of Light Music - Volume 1 1920s & 1930s

 The 1920s

1 Northwards (from "Four Ways" Suite) (Eric Coates)
REGAL CINEMA ORCHESTRA Conducted by EMANUEL STARKEY
2 Flapperette (Jesse Greer)
NAT SHILKRET AND HIS ORCHESTRA
3 Estudiantina – Waltz (Émile Waldteufel)
LONDON PALLADIUM ORCHESTRA Conducted by HORACE SHELDON
4 Pearl O’ Mine – Lyrical Melody (Percy Fletcher)
PLAZA THEATRE ORCHESTRA Conducted by FRANK TOURS
5 Laughing Marionette (Walter Collins)
DEBROY SOMERS BAND
6 Martial Moments
LONDON COLISEUM ORCHESTRA Conducted by ALFRED DOVE
7 In A Clock Store (Charles Orth)
NEW LIGHT SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
8 The Selfish Giant (Eric Coates)
JULIAN FUHS’ SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
9 Lustspiel – Overture (Adabert von Keler-Béla, arr. Adolf Lotter)
ATHENAEUM LIGHT ORCHESTRA

The 1930s

10 Frog King’s Parade (Heini Kronberger, Mary Marriott)
WEST END CELEBRITY ORCHESTRA
11 Lullaby Of The Leaves (Bernice Petkere)
REGINALD KING’S ORCHESTRA
12 Parade Of The Tin Soldiers (Leon Jessel)
NEW LIGHT SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
13 Blues (from "Dance Suite") (Eduard Künneke)
BERLIN PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA Conducted by EDUARD KÜNNEKE
14 In A Merry Mood (Fritz Haringer)
BARNABAS VON GECZY AND HIS ORCHESTRA
15 Dancing Clock (Montague Ewing)
ORCHESTRE RAYMONDE
16 "Sunny Side Up" – film selection (Bud De Sylva, Lew Brown, Ray Henderson)
SCALA SALON ORCHESTRA
17 Raindrops – Pizzicati for Strings (T. de la Riviera)
BOURNEMOUTH MUNICIPAL ORCHESTRA Conducted by Sir DAN GODFREY
18 Teddy Bears’ Picnic (John W. Bratton)
COMMODORE GRAND ORCHESTRA Conducted by JOSEPH MUSCANT
19 Monckton Melodies (Lionel Monckton)
BBC THEATRE ORCHESTRA Conducted by STANFORD ROBINSON

Guild GLCD 5134

 Music has been called the international language, and in its many guises it is probably as diverse as all the spoken tongues around the world. Individual styles constantly develop and change in response to various influences, and there is no doubt that our ancestors who listened to what we might term ‘their’ light music in the 1800s would find the sounds of the 1950s too avant-garde for their ears. Light music is not alone in this; some of today’s best loved classical works were harshly criticised at their premieres. In this, and the companion volume (GLCD 5135), an attempt is being made to illustrate the many varied forms and ensembles that fall within the scope of what many people generally regard as ‘Light Music’ (sometimes called Concert Music or Easy Listening) during four decades of the 20th century. This was touched upon in the first CD in this Guild series (GLCD 5101) and it is now possible to look in greater depth at the way in which Light Music has developed. From the somewhat sedate styles of earlier years, we progress through the influences of the jazz era until we finally arrive in the 1950s, when the advent of hi-fi often allowed composers, arrangers and conductors to express themselves in a spectacular fashion.

It took thirty years before sound recordings were made using microphones. Until then performers had to position themselves as close as possible to the giant horn that recorded them acoustically, and some instruments such as violins (known as "Stroh fiddles") even had small horns attached to them to amplify their sound. The results would have seemed amazing to record buyers at the time, and the technology managed to cope fairly well with solo performers accompanied by a piano. Sadly orchestras did not sound very good, which is why the temptation to include some very early recorded light music has been resisted as far as this collection is concerned. Our researches have therefore concentrated on the period from 1925 onwards, and the opening track from the end of the decade illustrates how quickly the sound engineers at the time were mastering the new techniques at their disposal.

In the 1920s Eric Coates absorbed the syncopation that was influencing popular music, and he turned his attention to nursery subjects which were sometimes called ‘tone poems’ but which he preferred to label ‘Phantasies’. The Selfish Giant was the first in 1924, and early in 1926 he conducted the augmented Jack Hylton Orchestra on an HMV 78. This was a different version from the usual orchestral score and, although interesting, the sound quality is rather disappointing. Rather better is the rare recording by Julian Fuhs’ Symphony Orchestra selected for this CD (although this was certainly not a full size symphony orchestra!). It was recorded in Berlin on 29 February 1928, and seems to have been released in Britain a year later by Parlophone (it appears that it was unissued in Germany). Julian Fuhs (1891-1975) was a German jazz pianist and conductor who, as a young man, emigrated to the USA and became an American citizen, but returned to his native Berlin in 1924. In 1926 the legendary trumpeter Bix Beiderbecke recorded with Fuhs’ band, and the following year he conducted the first German recording of Gershwin’s Rhapsody In Blue with Mischa Spoliansky on piano. Due to the political situation in his original homeland, Fuhs returned to the USA in 1936 but failed to repeat his earlier success as a musician.

Guild Light Music’s first 1930’s collection (GLCD 5106) included the Overture to the Tänzerische Suite (Dance Suite) by Eduard Künneke (1885-1953). This prompted several requests for more from this work, and the movement entitled Blues does sound good as a stand-alone piece. During 1925/26 Künneke visited America where he developed an interest in jazz styles through meeting Paul Whiteman, who did so much to popularise the works of the young George Gershwin. The influences are certainly apparent in his Dance Suite although Künneke was regarded more as a composer of operettas (a musical form that has virtually vanished today) with his works being performed in London – one such example was "Love’s Awakening" in 1922 at the Empire Theatre.

The choice of 1930s recordings attempts to illustrate the many varied styles of that troubled period in world history. The 1929 Wall Street stock market crash and the economic depression that followed created misery and hardship for millions, and as the decade progressed the world stumbled towards a second war which finally erupted in 1939. The record industry (and indeed the entertainment profession in general) saw its role as the provider of much-needed relief from the troubles of everyday life, and therefore much of the popular music expressed a cheery optimism which eventually proved to be tragically misplaced. 

Four Decades of Light Music - Volume 2 1940s & 1950s 

The 1940s

 1 March For Americans (Ferdé Grofé)
MEREDITH WILLSON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
2 Stringopation (David Rose)
PHILIP GREEN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
3 Over To You (Eric Coates)
ROYAL AIR FORCE CENTRAL ORCHESTRA Conducted by W/Comd. R.P. O’DONNELL
4 The Old Clockmaker (Charles Williams)
QUEEN’S HALL LIGHT ORCHESTRA Conducted by CHARLES WILLIAMS
5 Fascination (F.D. Marchetti)
ALBERT SANDLER AND HIS PALM COURT ORCHESTRA
6 World Of Tomorrow (Jack Beaver)
NEW CENTURY ORCHESTRA Conducted by SIDNEY TORCH
7 Turkish Patrol (Michaelis)
LEW STONE AND HIS CONCERT ORCHESTRA
8 If There Is Someone Lovelier Than You (from "Revenge With Music") (Arthur Schwartz)
PERCY FAITH AND HIS ORCHESTRA
9 Song Of Loyalty (Eric Coates)
ROYAL AIR FORCE CENTRAL ORCHESTRA Conducted by W/Comd. R.P. O’DONNELL
10 Down With The Curtain (Charles Shadwell)
CHARLES SHADWELL AND HIS ORCHESTRA

The 1950s

11 Bali Ha’i (from "South Pacific") (Rodgers, Hammerstein arr. Carl Stevens)
DAVID CARROLL AND HIS ORCHESTRA (Harp solo by PETER EAGLE)
12 Traffic Boom (Roger Roger)
ROGER ROGER AND HIS CHAMPS ELYSEES ORCHESTRA
13 Song Of India (Rimsky-Korsakov, arr. Laurie Johnson)
LAURIE JOHNSON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
14 Surprise (Richard Shores)
RICHARD SHORES AND HIS ORCHESTRA
15 Spellbound – theme from the film (Miklos Rozsa, arr. Wally Stott)
WALLY STOTT AND HIS ORCHESTRA
16 Forty Second Street (Harry Warren)
WERNER MÜLLER AND HIS ORCHESTRA
17 Purple Wine (Alan Green)
ALFREDO ANTONINI AND HIS ORCHESTRA
18 Look Sharp Be Sharp (Marlon Merrick)
BOSTON ‘POPS’ ORCHESTRA Conducted by ARTHUR FIEDLER
19 The Velvet Glove (Harold Spina)
GERALDO AND HIS NEW CONCERT ORCHESTRA
20 The Piccolino (Irving Berlin)
KINGSWAY PROMENADE ORCHESTRA Conducted by STANLEY BLACK
21 Louisiana Hay Ride (Arthur Schwartz, arr. Robert Farnon)
ROBERT FARNON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
22 A Garden In The Rain (James Dyrenforth, Carroll Gibbons)
RAY MARTIN AND HIS CONCERT ORCHESTRA
23 What’s The Rush (Lou Snider)
CHARLES DORIAN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
24 Forgotten Dreams (Leroy Anderson)
LEROY ANDERSON AND HIS "POPS" CONCERT ORCHESTRA
Brunswick 45-O 5485 1955
25 Tokay (Noel Coward, arr. Roland Shaw)
FRANK CHACKSFIELD AND HIS ORCHESTRA
26 "Front Page Story" – Theme from the film (Michael Carr)
THE MELACHRINO STRINGS Conducted by GEORGE MELACHRINO
27 Sport And Music (Lothar Brühne)
LOUIS VOSS AND HIS ORCHESTRA

Guild GLCD 5135

The first volume in this survey of "Four Decades of Light Music" (1920s and 1930s – Guild GLCD 5134) witnessed a gradual transformation from the sedate styles prevalent at the dawn of sound recording, to the full influence of the jazz era as it permeated many forms of music with composers such as Eric Coates warmly embracing it in their creations. The changing styles are even more apparent in this volume, where there is evidence that the 1940s still produced performances reminiscent of a more genteel era before the composers, arrangers and conductors of the 1950s began more fully to exploit the exciting opportunities offered by high fidelity sound.

Light music during World War 2 tried to provide a measure of reassurance during a terrible period by retaining many of the characteristics of previous, more peaceful times, yet it was not possible to eliminate the influences for change. Radio was the main source of entertainment in the home, and record sales were still struggling to reach the figures seen in the late 1920s before the great depression dealt such a knockout blow to the economies of the developed world. It was hardly surprising that record companies would ‘play safe’ by concentrating on 78s of music that would be familiar through the radio and films, and many regular broadcasters on both sides of the Atlantic were placed under contract by the leading labels.

The high fidelity sound that burst upon the 1950s is vividly illustrated with Bail Ha’i. David Carroll (b. 1913) was musical director of Mercury Records from 1951 to the early 1960s, during which time he accompanied many of the label’s contract singers as well as making some instrumental recordings of his own. Several of his LPs had a ‘dance’ theme, often including his own compositions, and he employed the cream of Chicago’s session musicians. Some people regard him as one of the pioneers of exploiting stereo sound to enhance his orchestral scores, and this 1956 recording gives an idea of what he would achieve a few years later.


New Jasmine Release this Spring Highlights Robert Farnon’s Early Career in Britain

Robert Farnon Melody Fair - JasmineCLASSIC FARNON SOUNDTRACKS NOW ON CD

Last spring David Ades was approached by the British company Jasmine Records to discuss the possibility of a 2CD collection of Robert Farnon recordings. Rather than repeat the repertoire which has already appeared on other labels, the early discussions centred on recordings that were new to CD. However, at the same time Jasmine naturally wanted to include some of Robert Farnon’s best known works, so that the collection would have a general appeal – especially in North America where Jasmine is a strong seller. Jasmine is gradually building up an impressive catalogue of light music releases, with recent issues featuring Mantovani, Gordon Jenkins and Hugo Winterhalter.

David suggested that the inclusion of some of Robert Farnon’s soundtracks from the 1940s would certainly appeal to his admirers, especially as they have never before been available on commercial recordings. It was also agreed that many of his Decca 78s accompanying popular singers deserved to be restored to the catalogue, and gradually the concept for this new release began to take shape.

David recommended that Alan Bunting should handle the digital sound restoration, and work on the project began in earnest last autumn. Rather than mix the vocals and instrumentals, it was decided that the first CD would concentrate on Bob’s famous numbers, with four longer extracts from film soundtracks. The second CD concentrates on the Decca singles he conducted – many of them featuring his own brilliant arrangements. The result is a collection that provides a snapshot of his formative years in Britain, with plenty of tracks being reissued for the first time in over half a century – thereby making the release of great interest to existing Farnon fans, as well as those who will be discovering his genius for the first time.

CD 1 Orchestral and Film Music

1 Portrait Of A Flirt (Robert Farnon)
KINGSWAY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Conducted by ROBERT FARNON
2 Gateway To The West (Robert Farnon)
ROBERT FARNON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
3 Westminster Waltz (Robert Farnon)
ROBERT FARNON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
4 All Sports March (Robert Farnon)
QUEEN’S HALL LIGHT ORCHESTRA Conducted by ROBERT FARNON
5 "JUST WILLIAM’S LUCK" (1947) film soundtrack excerpts (Robert Farnon)
Orchestra Conducted by ROBERT FARNON
6 Peanut Polka (Robert Farnon)
ROBERT FARNON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
7 How Beautiful Is Night (Robert Farnon)
ROBERT FARNON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
8 Melody Fair (Robert Farnon)
ROBERT FARNON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
"SPRING IN PARK LANE" (1948) film soundtrack excerpts
NEW SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA and Chorus
Conducted by ROBERT FARNON
9 Opening titles music: Early One Morning (traditional)
10 The Moment I Saw You (Manning Sherwin, Harold Purcell); closing titles music
11 Proud Canvas (Robert Farnon)
QUEEN’S HALL LIGHT ORCHESTRA Conducted by ROBERT FARNON
12 Manhattan Playboy (Robert Farnon)
QUEEN’S HALL LIGHT ORCHESTRA Conducted by ROBERT FARNON
13 "WILLIAM COMES TO TOWN" (1948) film soundtrack excerpts (Robert Farnon)
NEW SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Conducted by ROBERT FARNON
14 State Occasion (Robert Farnon)
QUEEN’S HALL LIGHT ORCHESTRA Conducted by ROBERT FARNON
15 Pictures In The Fire (Robert Farnon)
QUEEN’S HALL LIGHT ORCHESTRA Conducted by ROBERT FARNON
16 Jumping Bean (Robert Farnon)
KINGSWAY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Conducted by ROBERT FARNON
17 A Star Is Born (Robert Farnon)
ROBERT FARNON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
"MAYTIME IN MAYFAIR" (1949) film soundtrack excerpts
NEW SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA and Chorus
Conducted by ROBERT FARNON
18 Opening titles music: Maytime In Mayfair (Harry Parr-Davies)
19 Journey Into Melody (Robert Farnon)
20 Maytime In Mayfair ballet (Robert Farnon)
21 Dream Dance; closing titles music (Robert Farnon)

CD 2 Robert Farnon and his Orchestra accompanying singers on UK

1 The Fleet’s In (Victor Schertzinger, Johnny Mercer)
THE JOHNSTON SINGERS
2 You’d Be Hard To Replace (from "The Barkleys of Broadway") (George Gershwin, Harry Warren)
VERA LYNN
3 Chi-Baba, Chi-Baba (My Bambino Go To Sleep) (Mack David, Al Hoffman, Jerry Livingston)
DENNY DENNIS with THE SONG PEDLARS
4 You Keep Coming Back Like A Song (from "Blue Skies") (Irving Berlin)
BERYL DAVIS
5 Hallelujah (Vincent Youmans, Leo Robin, Clifford Grey)
THE GEORGE MITCHELL CHOIR
6 Maybe You’ll Be There (Rube Bloom, Sammy Gallop)
PAUL CARPENTER
7 Cherry Stones (John Jerome)
LEE LAWRENCE and VERA LYNN
8 Every Time I Meet You (from "The Beautiful Blonde from Bashville Bend") (Josef Myrow, Mack Gordon)
DENNY DENNIS
9 I Am Loved (from "Out of this World") (Cole Porter)
VERA LYNN and THE MITCHELL MEN
10 The Stars Will Remember (Don Pelosi, LeoTowers)
SCOTTY McHARG
11 Goodnight You Little Rascal You (Noel)
ANNE SHELTON
12 Great Day (Vincent Youmans, Billy Rose, Edward Eliscu)
THE GEORGE MITCHELL CHOIR
13 Penthouse Serenade (When We’re Alone) (Will Jason, Val Burton)
VERA LYNN
14 When You Make Love To Me (Jascha Heifetz, Marjorie Goetschius)
PAUL CARPENTER
15 My Resistance Is Low (Hoagy Carmichael, Harold Adamson)
THE JOHNSTON SINGERS
16 Once Upon A Winter Time (Johnny Brandon, Ray Martin)
VERA LYNN
17 If You Ever Need A Friend (Jimmy Harper, Larry Miller)
DENNY DENNIS
18 Kiss The Boys Goodbye (Victor Schertzinger, Frank Loesser)
THE JOHNSTON SINGERS
19 The Way That The Wind Blows (Whitney, Kramer)
BERYL DAVIS
20 In Between The Showers (You’ll Find A Little Sunshine) (McGhee, Walsh, Silberman)DENNY DENNIS
21 I’ll Make Up For Everything (Ross Parker)
VERA LYNN
22 Lovely Lady Let The Roses See You Today (Hardy)
JOHN CAMERON
23 When You’re In Love (O’Connor, Fields, John)
RONNIE RONALDE, whistling
24 A La Claire Fontaine (Traditional, arr. Robert Farnon)
JACQUES LABRECQUE and THE MITCHELL CHORUS
25 "Cinderella" – Walt Disney Film Selection (Mack David, Jerry Livingston, Al Hoffman)
GRACIE FIELDS with THE GEORGE MITCHELL CHOIR

Jasmine JASCD 661

….and here are two more exciting new releases from Guild Light Music

The 1950s Volume 4 - CORNFLAKES

1 Port-au-Prince (Bernie Wayne, real name Bernard Weitzner, arr. Frank Cordell)
FRANK CORDELL AND HIS ORCHESTRA
2 Autumn Concerto (Camillo Bargoni, arr. William Hill Bowen)
THE MELACHRINO ORCHESTRA Conducted by GEORGE MELACHRINO
3 It’s A Lovely Day Tomorrow (Irving Berlin, arr. Ron Goodwin)
RON GOODWIN AND HIS CONCERT ORCHESTRA
4 American Waltz (Peter de Rose, arr. Laurie Johnson)
AMBROSE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
5 Manhattan Serenade (Louis Alter)
WERNER MÜLLER AND HIS ORCHESTRA
6 Highway Patrol – Theme from the TV series (Llewellyn)
CYRIL STAPLETON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
7 Spirito (Van Orsouw)
DOLF VAN DER LINDEN AND HIS ORCHESTRA (credited on LP label as VAN LYNN)
8 Cornflakes (Sidney Norman, real name Norman [‘Norrie’] William Paramor)
LES BAXTER AND HIS ORCHESTRA
9 Fiddlesticks (Albert McCarthy, Richard Freitas)
DAVID CARROLL AND HIS ORCHESTRA
10 Limehouse Blues (Douglas Furber, Philip Braham)
RAY MARTIN AND HIS CONCERT ORCHESTRA
11 Petticoats Of Portugal (Michael Durso, Mel Mitchell, Murl Kahn)
BILLY VAUGHN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
12 Quiz (Walter Stott)
DANISH STATE RADIO ORCHESTRA Conducted by ROBERT FARNON
13 Toyshop Ballet (Annunzio Mantovani)
MANTOVANI AND HIS ORCHESTRA
14 Theme from "The Proud Ones" (Newman)
LEROY HOLMES AND HIS ORCHESTRA with ‘Whistling Jones’
15 Show Girl (Edward White)
DOLF VAN DER LINDEN AND HIS ORCHESTRA

The Polygon Light Music Legacy
16 Many Dreams Ago (from film "Elephant Walk") (Franz Waxman, Mack David, arr. Laurie Johnson)
LAURIE JOHNSON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
17 Muriella (Ray Martin)
RAY MARTIN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
18 Desire Tango (Carl Niessan)
GEOFF LOVE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
19 Elaine (Eddie Lisbona, Fine, arr. Johnny Gregory)
JOHNNY GREGORY AND HIS ORCHESTRA
20 Letter To Virginia (Constantin, Francis, arr. Laurie Johnson)
LAURIE JOHNSON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
21 The Forget-Me-Not Waltz (Sammy Mysels, arr. Johnny Gregory)
JOHNNY GREGORY AND HIS ORCHESTRA
22 Lily Watkins Theme (from film "A Kid For Two Farthings") (Benjamin Frankel, arr. Laurie Johnson)
LAURIE JOHNSON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
23 The Bridge Of Love (James J. Kriegsmann, Douglas Walters)
JACKIE BOND, HIS SAXOPHONE AND ORCHESTRA
24 Tinkle Box Samba (Edward Rubach)
BERNARD MONSHIN AND THE CONCERT TANGO ORCHESTRA
25 Episode (Fred Spielman)
GEOFF LOVE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
26 Song Of The Pearlfishers – Tango (Heino Gaze, arr. Laurie Johnson)
LAURIE JOHNSON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
27 The Watermill (Tolchard Evans, arr. Johnny Gregory)
JOHNNY GREGORY AND HIS ORCHESTRA
28 Petite Ballerina (L. Singer)
MICHAEL FREDERICKS AND HIS ORCHESTRA
29 Fiddlers’ Boogie (Malcolm Lockyer)
MALCOLM LOCKYER AND HIS ORCHESTRA

GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD5130GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD5130

Each January another year’s sound recordings fall into the public domain, so it will come as no surprise to readers to learn that there is a good helping of tracks from 1956 on these two new Guild CDs. This compilation focuses on a number of popular instrumentals from the mid-1950s, followed by a selection of recordings from one of the small independent British labels that struggled to survive in the post-war years. This was a period when instrumental singles were still popular with record buyers, no doubt helped by the fact that they were frequently broadcast on the radio. Others achieved familiarity as radio and television themes, and many of the conductors and composers were household names – strange as this may seem in today’s entertainment world.

The Polygon Light Music Legacy

In the 1940s the British record industry was dominated by EMI (whose main labels were HMV, Columbia, Parlophone and MGM) and Decca (who also handled US releases on Brunswick and Capitol). By the end of the decade record sales were gradually recovering from the trauma of the Second World War, and a handful of small independent labels started appearing to challenge the major companies.

One of these was Polygon, and the man behind this new venture was Alan Freeman, who should not be confused with the well known disc jockey sharing the same name. The ‘Polygon’ Alan Freeman formed his company in 1949 after he received a small inheritance. At the time Petula Clark was popular in Britain following several appearances in films and through radio broadcasts, but both EMI and Decca regarded her as a child star and declined to put her under contract.

Alan Freeman approached her father, Leslie Clark, who was also her manager, and he could see the benefits for Petula. In fact the idea appealed to him so much that he was prepared to invest some money in the project, so plans went ahead to launch the new label with the first session taking place in late 1949. Petula recorded Music, Music, Music accompanied by a new singing group called The Stargazers with Ron Goodwin and his Orchestra – both were to enjoy successful careers with other labels during the 1950s.

Thanks to several hit records by Petula Clark and Jimmy Young, Polygon managed to survive independently for several years, and among its releases were some enjoyable light orchestral recordings. These seem to have been largely forgotten during the past fifty years, so Guild Music is pleased to make them available once more.

Among the most famous names in the world of Light Music whose careers would blossom in later years, those who particularly stand out include Ray Martin, Johnny Gregory, Geoff Love, Ron Goodwin, Malcolm Lockyer, Frank Chacksfield and Laurie Johnson. Polygon gave them their first big chance but – as so often happens in life – they were to move on and enhance their reputations with other record companies.

Ray Martin (1918-1988) was one of the leading lights behind EMI’s Columbia in the mid-1950s, where he worked alongside Norrie Paramor for several years guiding the fortunes of some of the label’s top stars. He also had a distinguished career as a composer/ arranger/ conductor in his own right. His big hit was Marching Strings, but there were many others as well. Muriella was one of the few titles he composed under his own name, rather than a pseudonym. Following considerable success with television and films, eventually he moved to the USA when head-hunted by RCA, before finally settling in South Africa where he died at his home in Johannesburg.

Johnny Gregory (b. 1924) is a prolific arranger and film composer whose career with Philips records spanned some 20 years. As "Chaquito" he arranged and conducted a series of Latin-American recordings which gained him an international reputation, and many of his LPs have now achieved something of a ‘cult’ status. Essentially he was a backroom boy in the British music business for many years, with numerous arrangements, backings and radio broadcasts to his credit. Johnny has told us that his Polygon recording sessions probably took place at the IBC studios in Portland Place. Unlike the large record companies with their own state-of-the-art facilities, the small independent labels had to use various commercial studios in London for their sessions.

Geoff Love (1917-1991) graduated through dance bands, radio and television to become one of EMI’s best-selling artists during the halcyon days of the LP era. Many of his records were released as "Manuel and his Music of the Mountains", and for many years record buyers refused to believe that the exotic sounding "Manuel" actually hailed from Yorkshire.

Ron Goodwin (1925-2003) was one of England’s finest light music composers who went on to compose several memorable film scores, notably "633 Squadron" and "Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines".

From the 1950s onwards, Malcolm Lockyer (1923-1976) became a familiar name in Britain, through his broadcasts (almost 6,000) and recordings. After war service in the RAF he worked as a pianist and arranger with Ambrose, Cyril Stapleton and Robert Famon, but he soon established himself as a composer, with approaching 100 titles to his credit. His best known pieces included Fiddlers’ Boogie and The Big Guitar (written under his pseudonym 'Howard Shaw') which BBC-TV used as the theme for a popular series called "Stranger Than Fiction" - recorded by Sidney Torch in 1955 with guitarist Bert Weedon (on Guild GLCD 5126).. Lockyer scored some thirty feature films and several television series.

Frank Chacksfield (1914-1995) conducted one of the finest light orchestras in the world, and during his long recording career with Decca alone it is estimated that his albums sold more than 20 million copies. In total he made more than 150 long-playing albums which were released in many countries, especially in Europe, Japan and Australia as well as Britain and America.

Laurie Johnson (b.1927) has been a leading figure on the British entertainment scene for 50 years. A gifted arranger and composer, Laurie has contributed to films, musical theatre, radio, television and records, with his music used in many well-known productions such as "The Avengers" and "The Professionals". His early recordings for Polygon are now receiving the recognition they deserve, since they clearly illustrate the inventive ideas he was developing so many years ago, which would make him one of the most distinctive and talented arrangers and composers of the last century. Laurie recalls that the tracks on this CD were recorded at the Friends’ Meeting House in London’s Euston Road, where the sound engineer was Tigg Rowe. Around the same time Laurie was placed under contract with MGM/EMI to arrange and conduct for the Ambrose Orchestra (track 4 is one example), and these sessions took place at EMI’s famous Abbey Road studios.

To complete the Polygon story – its founder, Alan Freeman, was determined that his label should remain independent, although it was obvious that a substantial injection of outside capital would be needed if it was to expand and indeed survive. The electronics company Pye decided to enter the record business, and they could see that Polygon offered them the opportunity to attack the pop market with a ready-made portfolio of artists. At the same time Pye was linking up with another small label, Nixa, which specialised in classical releases, and the Pye-Nixa pop label was officially launched in September 1955.

Negotiations to acquire Polygon had taken place the previous year, but progress was hampered when Alan Freeman was suddenly struck down by a serious illness. What was termed an ‘association’ between Polygon and Pye was announced in February 1955, and this signalled the end of Polygon as a separate label, and its final releases appeared in October 1955, together with the news that all Polygon artists would in future appear on the Pye-Nixa label. Most of the Polygon catalogue was quickly deleted, although some titles reappeared on Pye-Nixa. The light music recordings were considered to have insufficient sales potential to justify keeping in the catalogue during the second half of the 1950s, apart from Ray Martin and Bernard Monshin which were reissued on EPs. Happily Alan Freeman eventually recovered from his illness, and Polygon’s founder continued to work as a producer with the Pye-Nixa group for many years following the merger. He died in 1983.

David Ades

"LIGHT MUSIC ON THE MOVE"

1 Non Stop (John Malcolm, real name Malcolm John Batt, arr. Ivor Slaney)
L’ORCHESTRE DEVEREAUX Conducted by GEORGES DEVEREAUX
2 Main Line (Jack Beaver)
DANISH STATE RADIO ORCHESTRA Conducted by ROBERT FARNON
3 "Reach For The Sky" Film Theme (John Addison)
SIDNEY TORCH AND HIS ORCHESTRA
4 Paris Metro (William Hill Bowen)
THE MELACHRINO ORCHESTRA Conducted by GEORGE MELACHRINO
5 Jockey On The Carousel (Robert Farnon & Philip Buchel)
DANISH STATE RADIO ORCHESTRA Conducted by ROBERT FARNON
6 Side Car (Herbert Spencer, Earle Hagen)
SPENCER-HAGEN ORCHESTRA
7 Cycling Chimp (Bobby Pagan)
L’ORCHESTRE DEVEREAUX Conducted by GEORGES DEVEREAUX
8 Jogging Along (King Palmer)
LOUIS VOSS AND HIS ORCHESTRA see note below
9 Canyon Canter (Leslie Begueley)
CHARLES WILLIAMS AND HIS CONCERT ORCHESTRA
"Airways" Suite (Len Stevens)
10 The Take-Off
11 Clouds
12 Air Hostess …etc (Len Stevens)
13 Happy Landings
NEW CENTURY ORCHESTRA Conducted by SIDNEY TORCH
14 Travelling Along (Walter Stott)
DANISH STATE RADIO ORCHESTRA Conducted by ROBERT FARNON
15 Walking On Ice (K. Leslie & W. Leslie, real names Kermit Levinsky & Walter Levinsky)
KERMIT LESLIE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
16 Drifting On A Cloud (Alfonso D’Artega & Harry Syracuse)
BILLY VAUGHN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
17 Skipping Along (Richard Hayman)
RICHARD HAYMAN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
18 Sleepwalker Of Amsterdam (Johnny Steggerda)
GUY LUYPAERTS AND HIS ORCHESTRA
19 Merry Go Round (La Complainte de la Butte) (Jack Lawrence & Georges Van Parys)
EDDIE BARCLAY AND HIS ORCHESTRA
20 Donkey Doodle (Ivor Slaney)
IVOR SLANEY AND HIS ORCHESTRA
21 Waltzing Bugle Boy (Ray Martin, arr. Wally Stott)
WALLY STOTT AND HIS ORCHESTRA
22 Flanagan’s Mare (Stanton, real name Reginald Armitage, arr. Anthony Fones)
HARRY DAVIDSON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
23 Bicycle Belles (Sidney Torch)
SIDNEY TORCH AND HIS ORCHESTRA
24 Blow The Horn (Dolf van der Linden)
DOLF VAN DER LINDEN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
25 Holiday Express (Dominico Savino)
ROMA SYMPHO-POP ORCHESTRA Conducted by DOMINICO SAVINO
26 Hiker’s Highway (F.G. Charrosin)
LOUIS VOSS AND HIS ORCHESTRA see note below
27 Horse And Buggy (Roger Roger)
ROGER ROGER AND HIS CHAMPS ELYSEES ORCHESTRA
28 Bob Sleigh (Eric Jupp)
NEW CONCERT ORCHESTRA Conducted by FREDERIC CURZON
29 Night Train (Otto Cesana)
OTTO CESANA AND HIS ORCHESTRA
30 Busy Street (King Palmer)
DOLF VAN DER LINDEN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
31 Air Display (Gilbert Vinter)
STUTTGART RADIO ORCHESTRA Conducted by KURT REHFELD)
32 Spaceways (Jack Beaver)
DANISH STATE RADIO ORCHESTRA Conducted by ROBERT FARNON

GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD5131GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD5131

The title of this collection of Light Music obviously gives the clue to the inspiration which guided the composers in creating these enjoyable works. But movement is far from being as simple as its name might at first suggest. It can be fast or slow, and can be caused by any number of factors, from humans on their own to the weird and wonderful machines they create. Whether on land or sea, or in the air – and even in outer space – you’ll find it all in this selection of varied orchestral cameos.

No excuse is necessary for beginning with a piece which will be immediately familiar to everyone in Britain who watched television from the mid-1950s onwards. When Independent Television (ITV) arrived in Britain in the London area on 22 September 1955 there was an understandable desire to make their programmes different from the BBC, which had held the monopoly for TV broadcasting in Britain since the world’s first high definition public television service was launched on 2 November 1936, although experimental transmissions under the auspices of the BBC had started as early as July 1926.

Geoffrey Cox was the first Editor of Independent Television News (ITN), and right from the start their bulletins were regarded as more viewer-friendly than the formal style favoured by the BBC. The word ‘newscaster’ entered the language, and the theme chosen by Cox to introduce his broadcasts was destined to become instantly recognisable. Its title was Non Stop composed by ‘John Malcolm’. It was recorded by L’Orchestre Devereaux conducted by Georges Devereaux in Basel, Switzerland, in 1950 and released on the Francis, Day & Hunter Mood Music 78 number FDH072. Despite its popularity, it was never made available commercially during the 25 years that it was used by ITN. In fact the composer’s real name is John Malcolm Batt, and he was a 17-year old schoolboy in Taunton, Somerset, when he wrote Non Stop in 1946 as one of a set of six pieces for piano, designed to illustrate to his music teacher the merits of lighter works versus classical.

If John Batt was not one of the ‘usual’ composers of mood music for publishers’ libraries, Jack Beaver most certainly was. He is represented here with two outstanding numbers – Main Line and Spaceways, both for Chappell which, for many years in the 1940s and 1950s, operated arguably the finest recorded music library in the world, thanks to its founder Teddy Holmes who put such talented writers as Charles Williams, Robert Farnon, Sidney Torch and Walter Stott (now known as Angela Morley) under contract. Beaver was born in Clapham, London in 1900, and died on 10 September 1963, aged 63. His work in the cinema extended over 30 years including Alfred Hitchcock's first huge international hit The Thirty-Nine Steps (for which Beaver received no credit) and Vincent Sherman's 1949 success The Hasty Heart. Beaver worked at the music department at Gaumont-British Studios under Louis Levy during the 1930s, and was hired by Warner Bros. to run the music department at their British studio at Teddington in the early '40s. Apart from The Hasty Heart, none of his British Warner Bros. work involved movies that had a high profile outside of the UK, although Beaver did write the scores for a pair of interesting historical dramas, The Prime Minister (1941) and Showtime (1948).

Beaver's music for the 1939 thriller The Case of the Frightened Lady is regarded by some scholars as the first notable piano-based score for film – a style which was to prove so profitable for later composers such as Richard Addinsell and Hubert Bath. It was a natural progression from writing for films that would make Beaver’s talents so attractive to the London music publishers that were busily developing their background music libraries during the 1940s. Beaver was also much in demand for scoring theatrical productions and undertook a punishing workload which eventually contributed towards his early death. His ability to create music to cover almost any mood was second to none, and his most famous composition was probably Picture Parade, which used to introduce the early BBC Television series of the same name.

Still on the subject of ‘backroom boys’ rather than the composer/conductors who enjoyed a high public profile, due credit must certainly go to the prolific King Palmer (1913-1999), represented in this collection with Jogging Along and Busy Street. He possessed the rare gift of being able to capture in a few bars of music a particular mood or feeling, and over 30 years more than 600 pieces of his music were recorded by various production music libraries to depict almost every imaginable occasion. In the late 1930s he conducted the West End show "Miss Hook of Holland" and wrote film music for "The Dark Eyes of London" and "Secrets of the Stars". He also arranged many works for piano and much of his music was broadcast by his own King Palmer Light Orchestra on the BBC’s Light Programme with Palmer conducting in shows such as "Music Hour" and "Music While You Work".

But while he excelled in churning out so-called "light music" on demand, Cedric King Palmer had a serious, knowledgeable and erudite side to his musical personality. At the age of 26 he completed a study of the music of the composer Granville Bantock (1868-1946) and after the Second World War he continued as a popular writer about music. Among his most successful books was Teach Yourself Music (1944), part of the Hodder and Stoughton Home University series, which ran to several editions. He also lectured in music at the City Literary Institute.

For the Ford Motor Company’s 1946 exhibition at the Royal Albert Hall, Palmer formed the Ford V8 Shadow Symphony Orchestra which, under his baton, performed, recorded and filmed Rhythm of the Road, a number which for many years continued to turn up regularly on promotional materials and advertisements for the company. Among the most popular songs he wrote was one that became a hit in America when it was adopted in 1954 as the theme tune for the television programme "Eleventh Hour". It was recorded as the Eleventh Hour Melody by, among others, Al Hibbler, Lou Busch and Roger Williams. However this tune first appeared as The Film Opens, one of many pieces of mood music King Palmer wrote for the Paxton Library. Palmer’s immense stock of recorded library music remains accessible to producers and, despite his not having composed for the past 30 years of his life, the royalty cheques continued to grow, demonstrating the frequency with which television and radio producers availed themselves of his output.

Gilbert Vinter (1909-1969) composed Air Display; although his light music composing output was not prolific compared with many of his peers, his name is highly respected in Britain through his work as a conductor of the BBC Midland Light Orchestra from 1946 until his death at the young age of 60. He also served for a while as conductor of the newly-formed BBC Concert Orchestra in 1952. Vinter conducted a landmark HMV LP "The World of Light Music" in 1965, and his own Portuguese Party has become a light music ‘classic’. He is also highly regarded in the brass band world, where he contributed several test pieces for national championships.

One enjoyable aspect for the compilers of a collection such as this is the opportunity to discover the real identities of some of the composers and arrangers. Tracing arrangers is not easy, because so few were ever credited on record labels, and sometimes it is necessary to make an ‘educated guess’ if there are sufficient clues in the style of the piece. Composers often used pseudonyms, for various reasons, but it is always satisfying when a little detective work can uncover who was really responsible for a particular melody.

"Flanagan’s Mare" is a case in point; the record label simply credits the work to ‘Stanton, arr. Foues’. The arranger’s name certainly rang alarm bells; it didn’t sound right, and could have been a misprint in the information being conveyed by the provider of this particular track, Ken Wilkins. But no, Ken had faithfully reported that it was indeed ‘Foues’ on the label.

‘Stanton’ also required some further investigation, and a check of the ASCAP listing of composers revealed many writers with this name. By selecting only those who were members of PRS (the British equivalent of ASCAP) it was eventually discovered that a cross-reference identified ‘Noel Gay’ as the composer of "Flanagan’s Mare". Noel Gay wrote numerous catchy songs that were particularly popular during the 1930s and 1940s and he established his own publishing firm; it is an open secret that ‘Noel Gay’ was also a pseudonym – his real name was Reginald Armitage.

So, via a circuitous route, it was eventually established that Reginald Armitage had composed "Flanagan’s Mare", but what about the arranger ‘Foues’ – was this another pseudonym?

David Ades remembered that an Anthony Fones had been a respected arranger and composer of light music around the time that Harry Davidson recorded the tune. Indeed Tony Fones (as he was better known) was the archetypal ‘backroom boy’ of the music business, whose services were always in demand at a time when there were numerous broadcasting orchestras still around. Alan Bunting offered the suggestion that printers in those days used to typeset with metal parts and – if Fones was indeed the right name – an ‘n’ could have been placed upside down by mistake.

Then David finally recalled that Anthony Fones had died several years ago, and Journal Into Melody had printed an obituary to him. Checking through back issues the obit was discovered on page 75 of JIM 134, and among the wealth of information about his career was the fact that he was at one time the ‘official arranger’ at Noel Gay’s publishing house.

So the mystery was finally solved, and "Flanagan’s Mare" is now rightly credited to the real composer and also the talented arranger who created such a charming version of this catchy tune!

David Ades

 

 


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